What to Expect from Mobile Apps in 2014
The following is a guest post by Melissa Selden
With nearly 2 million apps available between iTunes and Google Play, the idea that there’s an app for everything, is actually not too far from reality. Apps such as RunKeeper, Pulse, Movies by Flixter, TonePad, and iHandle Level Free show the range in the average, day-to-day needs in which technology now offers us an easier solution. We can anticipate 2014 to bring about a wave of new innovative mobile apps—some of which will disappear faster than they are launched, while others will be game changers (much like Vine, Tinder and Oyster were in years past). If the successes seen in educational, travel and game-related apps in 2013 were any indication, those will be among the biggest players in the months to come.
All Kinds of Junk
According to eMarketer, global smartphone users are expected to reach 1.75 billion in 2014. Furthermore, with more than 30 smartphones available from T-Mobile alone, mobile devices are accessible within more price ranges and capabilities than ever before. Since nearly half of smartphone users have apps on their phone, we can expect a surge in the creation of even more apps—one for every task under the sun. There are now even apps to create apps! Appmkr is one of many app-building programs that promise no coding knowledge required. With a program like this, anyone with an idea for an app can see their idea come into fruition. Beyond publishing and sharing a new app, users also gain access to the ability to monetize their app.
More from the Big Players
Just because there are kids in the pool does not mean that the big boys aren’t going to swim. Facebook is planning on pumping out a suite of mobile app in 2014, each of which will be standalone. Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted that Facebook would be taking several of their popular components and making them into their own mobile applications. One guess is that they will launch a module that will allow you to snap photos and post them without logging into a Facebook account. Look to Google, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to create new apps to promote their brands.
There is money out there for the next big app, which will probably happen under the umbrella of new media. The National Endowment for The Humanities will have a grant available in August 2014 for projects focused on interactive digital media which is a fancy way of saying an app married to a video. Even the Federal government is getting in on the mobile app action. The Federal grant database Grants.gov lists various funding opportunities for mobile technology, offered from agencies that range from the National Institutes of Health to the Fish and Wildlife Services.